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also Gu·lag  (go͞o′läg)
a. A network of forced labor camps in the former Soviet Union.
b. A labor camp in this network.
a. A network of prisons used especially for political dissidents.
b. A prison in such a network.

[Russian Gulag, from G(lavnoe) u(pravlenie ispravitel'no-trudovykh) lag(ereĭ), Chief Administration (of Correctional Labor) Camps.]


1. (Historical Terms) (formerly) the central administrative department of the Soviet security service, established in 1930, responsible for maintaining prisons and forced labour camps
2. (Government, Politics & Diplomacy) (not capital) any system used to silence dissents
[C20: from Russian G(lavnoye) U(pravleniye Ispravitelno-Trudovykh) Lag(erei) Main Administration for Corrective Labour Camps]


(ˈgu lɑg)

n. (sometimes cap.)
1. the system of forced-labor camps in the Soviet Union.
2. a Soviet forced-labor camp.
3. any prison or detention camp, esp. for political prisoners.
[1970–75; < Russian Gulág, acronym from Glávnoe upravlénie ispravítel'no-trudovýkh lageréĭ Main Directorate of Corrective Labor Camps]


1. A Russian word, originally an acronym, meaning a forcedlabor camp.
2. The Russian administration of forced labor camps (acronym for State, or Main, Administration of Corrective Labor Camps) from the 1930s. Used for detention of political opponents, especially intellectuals.
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.gulag - a Russian prison camp for political prisoners
internment camp, POW camp, prison camp, prisoner of war camp - a camp for prisoners of war
References in periodicals archive ?
This translation of letters that Latvian poet and novelist Arsenii Formakov wrote to his family provides a lucid firsthand account of life within the Russian gulags.
The sheer quantity of prisoners sent to northern gulags was used to compensate for the inefficiency of this model of development.
In these details, Lebedev confronts the atrocities of the gulags through memory and place.
In the context of Lithuanian experience, my article offers a test case for contextual Christology from an Eastern European perspective by critically reflecting on the theological implications of the Communist era, of which the system of the Soviet Gulags symbolically stands out as an unmistakable and grim token.
OVER THE last 50 years the national government has created a web of relocation camps in Metro Manila that resemble in some ways the Siberian gulags of the Soviet empire.
Most were sent to gulags under North Korea's "guilt by association system".
In it, the United States' Operation Keelhaul was described as repatriating hundreds of thousands of mostly Red Army prisoners of war and refugees, who were sent to the Soviet gulags.
Thanks to scholars such as Anne Applebaum much new light has been thrown onto the horrors of Soviet Russia's notorious gulags or concentration camps into which millions of Soviet citizens were thrown.
De ahi las tragicamente celebres purgas en el Partido Comunista o en el ejercito, de donde salieron miles de presos politices que eran enviados a los gulags y que fueron obligados a trabajar hasta el agotamiento y la muerte precisamente para erigir esas obras de ingenieria --grandes canales, vias ferreas casi imposibles-- que dieron lustre al estalinismo .
Yet despite the aftermath with the ensuing Cold War period and the appearance of Soviet dissident literature by Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn and others, few books mention the crimes against the Poles, the invasion of Poland on two fronts at the start of the Second World War, or the deportations of Polish citizens into Siberian gulags.
Under Soviet dictators, Russians going to Siberia were often headed for the gulags, or forced-labor camps.
He spent the next eight years as one of the countless men enduring the gulags.